2BC: The Well

Discovering God's Purposes Together

Meet Isabella Jayne Elkins, our new granddaughter

A NEW  ADDITION

Our family continues to grow this year with the birth of our granddaughter  Isabella Jayne.  She is the daughter of our daughter Jennifer and her husband Todd.  Bella weighed in at 7 lbs. 1 oz.and 20 3/4 in long this past Saturday (Nov. 20) at 6:23 am.

Bella joined us 3 1/2 weeks earlier than expected.  She is a sweet little girl who has features of both her mother and father.

Leslie and I feel most blessed with all three daughters now married and now two grandchildren.  God seems to give us the true desire of our hearts.  Leslie and I have prayed for the girls to find good Christian husbands and start their own families.  We have been delighted with the choices the girls have made.  Now we have the joy of our girls having children.  Being a grandparent is indeed GRAND.

Each age of life has God’s blessings for us.  I am enjoying this stage.

Thank you dear Lord for blessing us in each stage of life. — Ray

November 22, 2010 Posted by | Christian, Christian life, Church Family, Faith, family | Leave a comment

“Power to Heal”

Acts 3:1-10

1 One day Peter and John were going up to the temple at the time of prayer—at three in the afternoon. 2 Now a man crippled from birth was being carried to the temple gate called Beautiful, where he was put every day to beg from those going into the temple courts. 3 When he saw Peter and John about to enter, he asked them for money. 4 Peter looked straight at him, as did John. Then Peter said, “Look at us!” 5 So the man gave them his attention, expecting to get something from them.

6 Then Peter said, “Silver or gold I do not have, but what I have I give you. In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, walk.” 7 Taking him by the right hand, he helped him up, and instantly the man’s feet and ankles became strong. 8 He jumped to his feet and began to walk. Then he went with them into the temple courts, walking and jumping, and praising God. 9 When all the people saw him walking and praising God, 10 they recognized him as the same man who used to sit begging at the temple gate called Beautiful, and they were filled with wonder and amazement at what had happened to him.

This is a familiar passage.  Peter’s answer is memorable, “Silver or gold I do not have, but what I have I give you. In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, walk.”  Would we dare make such a statement?  Why not?  Isn’t the Holy Spirit the same today?  Is Jesus more limited today than then?

Limitations come from us, not from God.  We have doctors and hospitals that we have confidence in.  We question the realness of so-called faith healers.  We don’t have amazement because we don’t depend on Christ alone.

Serving as a missionary in Southeast Asia we were able to see people who literally could not afford any type of medical care.  The government furnished very little emergency care.  There were no medical cards.  Few had insurance of any kind.  Medications were often bought a day at a time.  Christians had few resources except prayer and faith in Christ.  And on a regular basis Christians saw miracles happen.  God is their only hope.

QUESTIONS:

  1. Do you believe Christ heals today?
  2. What hinders us seeing more miracles today?

PRAYER:

  • Pray for God’s healing power to be manifest around us.
  • Pray for the people on your prayer list.

August 7, 2009 Posted by | Bible Study, Challenge, Christian | Leave a comment

“Power in Christ”

Philippians 4:13, 19

13 I can do everything through him who gives me strength.

19 And my God will meet all your needs according to his glorious riches in Christ Jesus.

The child was playing in the sand at the beach with dad watching.  Digging and mounding soon gave way to trying to lift an uncovered rock.  The child pulled and tugged to no avail.  Dad asked, “Have you used all the power available to you?”  “Yes, daddy.  I am using all my strength.”  “Have you really?”  “Yes, daddy.  It won’t move.”  “Have you asked me?  I am here and ready to help.”  The child asked for dad’s help, and together they moved the stone.

Have you run into something in life too heavy for you?  Have you used all of the power available to you?  Have you claimed the power of Christ in your life?  Paul learned the truth, “I can do everything through him who gives me strength.”

The promise is not just for Paul.  Paul says in verse 19, “And my God will meet all your needs according to his glorious riches in Christ Jesus.”  The power of Christ is available to all believers.  This may be the greatest power available to believers.

So why are so many Christians feeling so weak today?  Like the child playing in the sand, they are trying to work in their power alone.  Strength comes from living in Christ.

QUESTIONS:

  1. Do you depend on Christ in your daily life?
  2. How would you describe the power of Christ in your life?
  3. What did Paul mean by saying he could do “everything through him who gives me strength?”

PRAYER:

  • Pray for God to help you depend on Christ for strength.
  • Ask God to give you power as you minister to others.
  • Pray for the people on your prayer list.

August 6, 2009 Posted by | Bible Study, Challenge, Christian, Christian life | Leave a comment

“Power in a Godly Life”

Philippians 4:8-9

8 Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. 9 Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me—put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you.

As our girls have departed from home whether for an evening out, a youth trip, or to get married we have repeatedly challenged, “Remember who you are and whose you are.”  It is important to know where we belong and who loves us.

Knowing who we are (Christians) and whose we are (Christ’s) leads us to a second source of power for Christians – a godly life.  It does matter what we do because of who we are and whose we are.  Paul challenges the Philippians to think godly thoughts about things true, noble, right, pure, lovely, admirable, excellent, or praiseworthy.  He also encourages them to put in practice what they have learned.  The peace of God is promised to those who practice such things.

God lives in us but does not force us to serve Him.  The Bible advises that we should not “quench” the Spirit of God.  Listening to Him, guided by biblical principles, we live our lives for God.  The power of a godly life comes from obedience to God, which places us more in the center of God’s will.

QUESTIONS:

  1. What would be a Christian definition of power?
  2. Describe a godly life?
  3. How would you say a godly life brings power to Christians?
  4. Define who you are and whose you are.

PRAYER:

  • Pray for power in your Christian life.
  • Pray that our life may be seen more and more as godly.
  • Pray for the people on your prayer list.

August 5, 2009 Posted by | Bible Study, Christian | Leave a comment

“Power in Rejoicing”

Philippians 4:4-7

4 Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! 5 Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. 6 Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. 7 And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

Do you like to sing?  Many families have a repertoire of family songs that are sung with children or grandchildren.  These may be sung while riding in a car on a trip or maybe on holidays.  Singing these songs is part of a family’s joy.  Leslie and I have songs passed down from her mother and my mother.  We even have one song from Leslie’s dad.  These songs are always sung in joy as they remind us of some very special people.

What do we do when we think about God?  Do we sing songs of joy?  Do we read a Psalm?  Paul challenges us to rejoice in the Lord always.  How do you rejoice?  Paul speaks of gentleness, avoiding anxiety through prayer and petition, making our requests with thanksgiving, and the assurance that God’s peace will guard our hearts and minds.  These are but a few reasons that we should rejoice.  Because of Christ’s grace and loving kindness, we have much to rejoice about.

We as Christians find power in rejoicing.  Statements such as “The joy of the Lord is my strength” and “The Lord inhabits the praises of His people” have strengthened the faithful.  Try it!  You will see for yourself the power in rejoicing.

QUESTIONS:

  1. How do you rejoice in the Lord?
  2. Do you have favorite songs that help you rejoice?
  3. Name some reasons we should rejoice in the Lord.

PRAYER:

  • Name grace gifts from God for which you rejoice.
  • Pray that your rejoicing might inspire others to rejoice.
  • Pray for those on your prayer list.

August 4, 2009 Posted by | Bible Study, Challenge, Christian | Leave a comment

“Discovering the Joy of Ministry” July 12, 2009 Morning Sermon

I Corinthians 3:5-9

5 What, after all, is Apollos? And what is Paul? Only servants, through whom you came to believe—as the Lord has assigned to each his task. 6 I planted the seed, Apollos watered it, but God made it grow. 7 So neither he who plants nor he who waters is anything, but only God, who makes things grow. 8 The man who plants and the man who waters have one purpose, and each will be rewarded according to his own labor. 9 For we are God’s fellow workers; you are God’s field, God’s building. 

  1. Joy Is Found in the Center of God’s Will
    1. Real Joy is God Given
    2. We Know God through His Will

II.  We Can Do Ministry for a Variety of Reasons

  1. Wrong Reasons Make a Weak Ministry
  2. Right Reasons Make a Strong Ministry
  3. Ministry is Joyous in the Center of God’s Will
    1. We Should Strive to Know God’s Will
    2. Joyous Ministry is in God’s Will

IV.Blessed is the Person Who Knows God’s Will and Does God’s Will in Ministry

  1. Ministry Should be Pleasing to God
  2. God Blesses Faithful Ministry

July 13, 2009 Posted by | Bible Study, Challenge, Christian, Discipleship, Ministry, Spiritual Warfare, Stewardship, Worship | Leave a comment

“Power for Ministry”

Acts 4:33-35        

With great power the apostles continued to testify to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus, and much grace was upon them all. There were no needy persons among them. For from time to time those who owned lands or houses sold them, brought the money from the sales and put it at the apostles’ feet, and it was distributed to anyone as he had need.

 

There is a difference in ministering with power and ministering in our own strength.  To see great results in ministry Christians must minister with power.  Acting in our own strength demonstrates our inadequacies. 

In Acts 1:8 Jesus teaches, “you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you.”  It was based on this God-given power that the disciples were able to witness to the whole world.  The passage was fulfilled in Acts 2 when the Holy Spirit came on them at Pentecost.  Today’s passage takes place soon after the multitudes were added.  Notice that the church is still acting in the power of the Spirit.  Note the results that come from ministering in the Spirit: “the apostles continued to testify to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus, and much grace was upon them all. 34 There were no needy persons among them. For from time to time those who owned lands or houses sold them, brought the money from the sales 35 and put it at the apostles’ feet, and it was distributed to anyone as he had need.”  Truly successful ministry is a result of ministry done in the power of the Spirit.

QUESTIONS:

  1. Why do you think more people are not ministering in the power of the Spirit?
  2.  From the passage, name some things that happened because of ministry in the power of the Spirit
  3. Explain what ministering with power means to you.

PRAYER:

  •  Pray to be led by Gods Spirit.
  • Pray for real power in your ministry and in your church.
  • Pray for the people on your prayer list.

July 10, 2009 Posted by | Bible Study, Challenge, Christian, Christian life | Leave a comment

Will There Be Ice?

One modern prophet is the weatherman?  He takes what was revealed to him by the best sources of science he has and makes a prophecy — a forecast.  The current forecast is that we will have ice storms tonight and snow tomorrow.  In a few hours we will know the accuracy of that prophecy, excuse me, forecast.

The Bible contains the record of a multitude of prophecies.  A few were fulfilled in hours.  Many were fulfilled in years, sometimes in centuries.  Several are yet to be fulfilled.  For me, the greatest fulfillment of prophecy is the coming of a promised savior.  The fulfillment of so many prophecies in Jesus’ life, death, and resurrection is amazing. 

Will the weatherman be right?  Will there be an ice storm?  We will see in a few hours.  Praise God we can experience a savior right now.

January 26, 2009 Posted by | Challenge, Christian, Jesus | 2 Comments